Project Summery

How did it start?
Reindeers make a distinct "clicking" sound by moving a tiny additional bone placed inside the lower part of their hind legs. I came across the sound some years ago and it has stayed with me. Asking scientists and researchers as well as experienced reindeer herders, they could all confirm this sound. Looking into various scientific fields to find an entrance to the topic, I found more or less nothing that could explain, why the reindeers create this "clicking"-sound?

The reindeer
Reindeers have highly developed sensory system and cognition skills e.g. memory, location and orientation. It is feasible that the "clicking" can be the mother reindeer´s (simles) way to call/communicate with her calf? Or the herds way of keeping the group gathered at night or in snowy weather using sound rather than their weak eyesight?

The art project, what will it become?
The artistic outcome will be a sculptural sound installation in progress and can be experienced out-door as well as inside conventional galleries. Solar panel and wind turbine secure the energy consumption in a sustainable manner and guarantee the show can take place almost anywhere outside.

Methods and collaborations
I have and will continue to establish collaboration and/or interaction with scientists and particular reindeer herders with their unique knowledge and long time cultural experiences with the reindeers, the landscapes and within the local context. Their responses will have major impact on the developments and understanding of the results and further developments.
Artist networks are evident in the project, for the exchange of ideas and experiences and exhibitions, workshops, talks etc. and have them happen. "Changes on Northern Shores – Observing Problems through Art" is one new network group I have joined and find interesting to be part of.

Øystein Holand, professor at the Nordic Center of Excellence in Arctic Research/Ås refered me to Inge Even Danielsen, who is a major key person to me and the project. He is sami reindeer shepherd and an important voice within the Sami community. Thanks to him I have been able to visit the reindeers twice in the area around Røros and will continue. At the last visit to Røros we managed to record the "cliking" directy from the reindeers leg also when it moved around. I (being a occupational therapist) created an orthosis that could carry a small F1ZOOM sound recorder, and it worked plus the quality of the sound recordings were quite good.

NOTAM has been very helpful and lending me technical equipment such as field recorder etc. Additional methods used are observations, conversations and interviews and will be documented in papers, photos, videos and sound recordings. Gained information and knowledge will determine how the project progresses, however the "clicking" will remain the focus point around which the project will move.

Theories and models
Theories and modells serve a function primarily as inspiration, since I enjoy reading them but can also work as an overall frame to examine and understand the complexity of the "the clicking", where and by whom it is heard. Anthropology has described the sami culture in various ways and the strougles the population still encounter in the nordic countries. The anthroposene is another approach. In fact the project touches upon a variety of theoretical fields such as history, archeology, nature science (zoology, biology etc) as well as human and folklore sciences, where the last certainly needs updating regarding the sami culture. This leads to some initial questions such as: Which tracs do we see behind us and how are they recognized? How do we listen and relate today? And how should the story sound for the future to come?

Artists participating in this exhibit: